Jan 21, 2013 7:30am EST
benediction will now be given by the reverend luis leon of st. john's episcopal church, where the obamas sometimes attend services. leon replaces evangelical pastor louie giglio, who bowed out after controversy erupted over a sermon he gave in the 1990s condemning homosexuality. myrlie evers-williams, widow of murdered civil rights leader medgar evers, will deliver the invocation and the brooklyn tabernacle choir will sing. >>> this week, many religious groups praised president obama's newly announced measures to try to reduce gun violence, particularly his call for mandatory background checks and a ban on assault weapons. vice-president biden said the nation has a "moral obligation" to prevent future tragedies like the school shooting in connecticut. at a press conference in washington, members of an interfaith coalition reiterated support for stronger gun control, saying they agree that it is a "moral imperative." >> we stand together because we know beyond all else that god is love. let us love one another, bind ourselves together and challenge the onslaught of violence in our nation.
Jan 27, 2013 10:00am PST
service at st. john's episcopal church. protestant, catholic and jewish leaders were part of the service, which was closed to cameras. then, the public ceremony began with an invocation by myrlie evers-williams, widow of slain civil rights leader medgar evers and the first laywoman to give an inaugural prayer. >> we invoke the prayers of our grandmothers, who taught us to pray, god, make me a blessing. >> reporter: music included the brooklyn tabernacle choir. >> the oath i have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this capitol, was an oath to god and country. >> reporter: the president cited god many times in his address. he laid out a liberal vision to the nation, which included an explicit endorsement of gay rights. >> our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. >> reporter: that was praised by some faith-based leaders who called this "the most lgbt-friendly" inauguration in history. but religious conservatives were critical, calling the statement "strident and divisive." many evangelicals ar